Join us for a relaxing train ride through the piney woods of East Texas or one of our many exclusive events throughout the season!
The captivating story comes to life the minute the train departs the Palestine Depot for the journey to the North Pole. (The adventure is even more fun when families and friends show up in their pajamas!) Enveloped by the motion picture soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of the tale as they are whisked away on THE POLAR EXPRESS™. Once onboard, chefs serve hot chocolate and cookies as they recite the classic children’s book, The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. (Be sure to purchase a book along with your tickets so your child can read his/her own book along with the chefs.) At the North Pole, Santa and his elves greet passengers and then board the train. St. Nick gives everyone the first gift of Christmas – a silver sleigh bell (only believers can hear ringing!). On the ride back to THE POLAR EXPRESS™ train depot, chefs lead passengers in singing joyous Christmas carols. Make sure to purchase the official THE POLAR EXPRESS™ book for your child when you make your reservations. Gift-wrapped as their first gift of the season, they can read along with the Coco Chefs aboard the magical journey to the North Pole.
This excursion takes passengers on a journey through the impressive Piney Woods and 135 years of history. Unplug for a tradition that merges comfort and adventure for the whole family. You will enjoy The Piney Woods Express Diesel trips are powered by restored FP9 passenger units, TSR 125 or TSR 126. These remarkably restored engines aren’t just for show! General Motors built 481 of the FP9 and FP7 locomotives to haul passengers during the “Golden Age” of streamliners. From the moment one steps aboard a vintage 1920’s car, the excitement of being on the rails is exhilarating. Relaxed seating, thoughtful décor and friendly, responsive attendants add to the ambiance of the scenic journey afforded by travelers a century ago. This four-hour round-trip train excursion departs from the historic Palestine Rail Depot in Palestine, TX and travels to our Rusk Rail Depot where guests will deboard the train for an approximate 1 hour and 15-minute layover at the historic Rusk Rail Depot. During the layover, guests will be able to have lunch, explore the grounds or take in some history visiting the interior of the depot as well as our gift shop. We have multiple seating and pricing options for this excursion. Most cars are climate-controlled, have restrooms, and access to our concession car stocked with snacks and kid-friendly and adult beverages. All seats have views along the Piney Woods route, and narration and music highlight the trip. Six different accommodations are offered on the Piney Woods Express Excursion: Private Caboose, Presidential 1511, Presidential 42, Dome, First Class, and Open-Air Coach. We also offer an ADA compliant Coach Car.
The Piney Woods Express Steam excursion is one of our most popular excursions. This excursion will be powered by No. 30, a 1917 Baldwin Locomotive Works. No. 30 began her career on the Tremont & Gulf Railway, a Louisiana short line railroad. During TP&WD days, No. 30 was known as No. 400. In the late 70’s, when Texas Parks & Wildlife Department took over the operation of Texas State Railroad, new account numbers were assigned to locomotives operating on the line. The opportunity to ride behind the magnificent locomotives of yesteryear and get up close and personal with these giants is truly an amazing experience! It is always a fun time and a great opportunity to bring the kids out for an educational adventure. This excursion takes passengers on a journey through the impressive Piney Woods and 135 years of history. From the moment one steps aboard a vintage 1920s car, the excitement of being on the rails is exhilarating. Relaxed seating, thoughtful décor and friendly, responsive attendants add to the ambiance of the scenic journey afforded by travelers a century ago. This four-hour round-trip train excursion departs from the historic Palestine Rail Depot in Palestine, TX, and travels to our Rusk Rail Depot, where guests will deboard the train for an approximate 1 hour and 15-minute layover at the historic Rusk Rail Depot. During the layover, guests will be able to have lunch, explore the grounds or take in some history visiting the interior of the depot as well as our gift shop. We have multiple seating and pricing options for this excursion. Most cars are climate-controlled, have restrooms and access to our concession car stocked with snacks and a variety of beverages to include adult beverages. All seats have views along the Piney Woods route, with narration and music to highlight the trip. An ADA-compliant Coach Car is also available on this excursion.
Passengers aboard Texas State Railroad’s DOGWOOD LUNCH TRAIN will savor the flavor, and the sights, of East Texas on this 4-hour round-trip journey. Expand all of your senses with a delicious meal and a front row seat to the Dogwood Days springtime show. The luminous white dogwoods and pink redbud blooms will light up the East Texas woods as the radiant blossoms and Piney Woods scenery pass by your window. We will offer 5 different seating classes on this excursion. Guests in each class on the Dogwood Lunch Train will be served complimentary appetizers onboard with some classes also receiving a complimentary champagne / cider toast upon departure. A variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase. Lunch will be served on the grounds of our Rusk TX Rail Depot and is included in the price of your ticket. Our annual Dogwood Lunch Train has been a tradition for many and a very popular excursion. This is NOT a steam event.
Passengers aboard Texas State Railroad’s Fall Harvest Lunch Train will savor the flavor and sights of East Texas on this 4-hour round-trip journey. As summer and especially the summer temperatures begin to cool down, we invite you to expand your senses with a delicious meal and a front-row seat to the Piney Woods of East Texas’ autumn show. We will offer six different seating classes on this excursion. Guests in each class on the Fall Harvest Lunch Train will be served complimentary appetizers onboard as well as a complimentary champagne/cider toast upon departure. A variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase on board. A catered Lunch will be served on the decorated grounds of our Rusk TX Rail Depot and is included in your ticket price. This is our first Fall Harvest Lunch Train in many years, and we are excited to offer this excursion in 2023!
Join us on our adult only “Wines in the Pines” excursion train where we will journey through the Piney Woods of East Texas while sampling the fine wines of Red 55 Winery, located in Lindale, TX. Red 55 Winery is the signature winery of the Texas State Railroad. As we begin our 4-hour round-trip journey from the Palestine, TX Railroad Depot, you will sample the award-winning vintage of Red 55 Winery and savor select appetizers paired to compliment each wine. We will make our way over to the the Rusk, TX Railroad Depot, guided by the moonlight, where we will stop and have dinner under the stars. The return excursion, featuring a final vintage and desert, allows ample time for all wine lovers to savor a full serving of their favorite blend, comparing notes and sharing stories with friends and loved ones. All classes of seating will be served a complimentary appetizer onboard the train as well as a Texas State Railroad Wine Glass as a memento of your journey with us. Dinner will be served on the grounds of the Rusk Rail Depot and is included in the price of your ticket. A fine selection of alcoholic beverages to include mixed drinks, wine and beer as well as non-alcoholic beverages will be available onboard for purchase. This is NOT a steam event.
What could be better than enjoying the beautiful East Texas Piney Woods from a vintage train whilst wetting your whistle with some tasty local ales? Make memories with friends by taking a journey on our “Pints in the Pines” excursion. This is an adult-only excursion departing promptly from Palestine, TX at 6:00 pm. We will travel through the Piney Woods of East Texas to our Rusk, TX Rail Depot while sampling several local or regional beers and appetizers. If you are not a “beer” drinker, don’t fret!! We have a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks available for purchase onboard. Upon our arrival at the Rusk, TX Depot, we will enjoy a catered dinner with dessert outside as the sun sets and the night sky falls upon us. On our journey back to Palestine, we will enjoy a final tasting and share laughs and conversation with family and friends. This excursion is approximately 4 hours in duration, including our time on the grounds at Rusk. The ticket price includes beer samplings, dinner, dessert and a Texas State Railroad Pint Glass as a special memento of your journey with us. Come and make memories at our “Pints in the Pines” 2023 excursion! You must be 21 years of age to participate in the beer tasting. Menu and breweries will be announced closer to the event date. This is NOT a steam event.
Piney Woods Evening Dinner Excursion – Texas State Railroad invites you to join us for our evening roundtrip train excursion through the Piney Woods of East Texas. This excursion departs the Palestine Rail Depot promptly at 6:00 pm. We will traverse the tracks enjoying the evening hours on our 1 hour and 20-minute journey to the Rusk Depot. Once at Rusk, we will be treated to a savory catered dinner served on the beautiful grounds of the depot by the lake. On our return trip, relax and enjoy conversation with your party or take the time to meet others along for the ride. Enjoy a coffee, or drink from our concession as your train attendant provides wait service or visit the concession car on your own. This unique adventure is a great getaway from the normal routine! Several seating options and rates are available for this excursion. Included in the rates for this event are a champagne or cider toast, freshly prepared appetizers, dinner and dessert with iced tea or water. For clarification, appetizers will be enjoyed on the train ride over to Rusk however, dinner and dessert will be served on the grounds at our Rusk Depot. Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic drinks will be available for purchase on the train and at the Rusk Depot.
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Because of special, incidental or consequential situations that may be out of our control, Texas State Railroad reserves the right to adjust our operation between the date of your booking and the day of departure. These changes could include (but not be limited to): locomotive power for the day, passenger car assignments, layover and/or meal time during the four-hour ride and departure and/or arrival times. Thanking you in advance for your consideration.